Welcome to the May 2015 issue of Transnational Literature.
This issue includes the first fruits of a project conceived early last year, to make a feature of Philosophy and Literature – Philosophy as Literature. Included are two peer-reviewed articles and two creative pieces, and we expect that the November issue will include more on this fascinating theme.
In the general section of the issue, we have a bumper crop of seven excellent peer reviewed articles on a wide range of literature. There is an emphasis on diasporic writers, the true border-crossers, who began life in countries as diverse as India, Vietnam, Iran, Japan and the United States and are now living and writing in Australia, the UK, Japan and the United States.
Two translations are included, an enigmatic poem from the Mandarin and a satirical story from Urdu.
Creative writing is flourishing, with two dozen stories and poems, all in some way reflecting the transnational experience of their authors. And nearly the same number of book reviews, on poetry, fiction and criticism, round out our fourteenth issue.
At the end of our seventh year of publication, I would like to pay tribute to the dedicated team of editors who make this journal possible. Kathryn Koromilas did a huge amount of work towards our Philosophy feature, and although she has been unable to carry it through to publication owing to circumstances beyond her control, it would never have happened without her.
Our section editors Heather Taylor Johnson (poetry), Gay Lynch (prose creative writing), Md Rezaul Haque (translations) and Patrick Allington and Ruth Starke (reviews) work their editorial duties into very busy lives, and I am very grateful for the time and care they take working with contributors to make sure that each contribution is the best it can be. I would particularly like to pay tribute to Gay Lynch, who is stepping aside as prose creative writing editor after this issue, for the meticulous attention she has devoted to this section of the journal over past few years. Many authors have benefited by Gay's careful attention to their writing.
And let us not forget those editors who work behind the scenes, helping with the necessary but unglamorous work of assessing articles and seeing them through peer review. Emily Sutherland and Paul Ardoin are invaluable and trusted colleagues, and Molly Murn has helped with editorial work on this issue as well. There is also a whole anonymous army of peer reviewers, without whom we could not operate as an academic journal.
And most of all, thanks to all the contributors. Here's to the next seven years!
Throughout his work, Deleuze not only draws on literature in order to address philosophical problems but he also maps out the “mobile relations” between philosophy and literature. After an initial overview, I will focus primarily on plateau “1874: Three Novellas or ‘What happened?’” of A Thousand Plateaus (1980), a book co-authored with Guattari. Through analyzing three novellas by Henry James, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Pierrette Fleutiaux, Deleuze and Guattari develop here the particular way that novella as a literary genre (a) relates to secrecy and (b) combines the three lines: the line of rigid segmentarity, the line of supple segmentarity, and the line of flight. I argue that novella-time could be extended beyond the limits of the literary genre ‘novella’. To this end, I propose a reading of Kierkegaard’s novella Repetition (1843) and selected entries from his Journals, the suicidal note of the Greek neo-romantic poet Costas Karyotakis (1896-1928) as well as Nikos Gabriel Pentzikis’s prose Mother Thessaloniki (1970). I conclude that time and the transcendence of the given linear arrangement of past, present, and future stands out as a common problematic of philosophy, literature, and life.
This paper reads Ali Alizadeh’s transnational book of short stories (Transactions, 2013) as a curious and pointed response to the kind of literary internationalism seen in Nam Le’s The Boat (2008). Le’s work was first published in the same year as Alizadeh’s The New Angel (which was set during the Iranian revolution). There is a sense in which the spectacular success of Le’s book ‘overshadowed’ the publicity for Alizadeh’s novel in the year of its arrival. But Le’s also work contains a story about an American woman visiting Tehran, and his mimicry perhaps signifies a more problematic representational point of comparison. With this in mind, this paper examines Alizadeh’s Transactions exploring the ways in which Alizadeh’s brutally connected global vision is coded through certain aesthetic choices (including structural, tonal and descriptive) that offer something very different to the artisanal and paratactic sensibility of The Boat.